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  #1  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:47 PM
pepboy2010 pepboy2010 is offline
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Does my employer have to reimburse miles

My employer forced me to attend a meeting in another city about 200 miles away, I was told I had to drive there and back in my car. When I got back I turned my mileage in and was told they dont pay for mileage or gas. I am assigned to a store and using my vehicle is not part of my job requirement. They also do not offer a rental. Anything I can do?
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:57 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Since you don't offer which state you live, how "safe" you are in your job, nor whether you wish to confront management, your best approach is to claim it as a business deduction.

If your boss does this again, you may want to consider getting a hard copy letter from him/her (before the fact) stating it is a necessary business trip and your employer will not pay expenses. When the boss asks why you need such a document, merely state you want to ensure the IRS fully understands the deduction you are entitled to take.

Addendum:

Quote:
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 50 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The new rates for business, medical and moving purposes are slightly lower than last year’s. The mileage rates for 2010 reflect generally lower transportation costs compared to a year ago.
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Independent contractor Runzheimer International conducted the study.
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...216048,00.html

Your 200 mile trip is worth $100.00 to you.

Last edited by Duckster; 09-21-2010 at 02:00 PM..
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2010, 03:30 PM
SmartAlecCat SmartAlecCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Your 200 mile trip is worth $100.00 to you.
Doubtful, unless you already have a lot of other expenses:

Your expenses will be subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income limit.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2010, 04:21 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Are you paid by the hour? If so, did they pay you for the time you spent traveling? I personally have never had a job where I wasn't paid mileage; I find it hard to believe that any company expects you to use your own car for business purposes without compensating you. I know times are hard, but I'd be looking for a new job.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2010, 04:33 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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Plenty of employees are expected to incur expenses without any reimbursement. In fact, the new tax rule about getting it in writing from your employer comes from an actual Tax Court case. A manager spent ~$30,000 a year on travel and was told it would not be reimbursed. Thus, he never asked for it to be reimbursed. On audit, the IRS denied him the deduction because he failed to get the non-reimbursement decision in writing.

The IRS's splitting of hairs is a crappy position, but they didn't ask me.

In any event, it shows that an employer is not obligated to reimburse for anything. If they are obligated, it would be in your employment contract and it would be a contractual issue.

Payroll laws (which vary state-to-sate) may require that they pay you for your time driving and at the conference. Getting that might require a lot more work than it's worth, and you might not be owed anything if you're an exempt employee.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:20 AM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is online now
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An employee using his/her car for business/job related travel exposes the employer to significant liability should an accident occur. Resulting personal and/or property damage to you or another would result in a Worman's Comp claim, to say nothing of personal injury lawsuits. Seems to me your employer not only does not treat his employees well, but is not overly educated on the risks associated with his travel policy.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2010, 09:28 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
An employee using his/her car for business/job related travel exposes the employer to significant liability should an accident occur. Resulting personal and/or property damage to you or another would result in a Worman's Comp claim, to say nothing of personal injury lawsuits.
How so? Use of personal vehicles for business travel is routine. There's no epidemic of lawsuits against companies because an individual in his own car caused an accident. That's what car insurance is for. There'd be no legal distinction whether or not the employer were paying for mileage.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:32 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
An employee using his/her car for business/job related travel exposes the employer to significant liability should an accident occur. Resulting personal and/or property damage to you or another would result in a Worman's Comp claim, to say nothing of personal injury lawsuits.
How so? Use of personal vehicles for business travel is routine. There's no epidemic of lawsuits against companies because an individual in his own car caused an accident. That's what car insurance is for. There'd be no legal distinction whether or not the employer were paying for mileage.
Concur - one requirement of my job is that I have to maintain liability insurance of a certain amount, if I ever use my personal car on company business.

However, I do get compensated for such mileage. The OP is really getting shafted in this matter and should definitely ask for written confirmation that this is the policy. As others have said, this serves him in case he does try to claim it on his taxes (unlikely to make any difference given the 2% floor, but still....).
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2010, 02:48 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is online now
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The existence a personal insurance policy does not exclude the the company from potential liability. If the personal insurance policy is deemed inadequate by the injured party, he/she will pursue deeper pockets.

W/regard to Workman's Comp, it's an open/shut case as the employee was performing company-ordered work.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2010, 10:58 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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If you do not inform your insurance company you are regularly using your personal vehicle for company business, woe be you if you have to make a claim. They may pay that claim, and then drop you the next day. Adding insult to injury, good luck trying to find new insurance.
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:08 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
The existence a personal insurance policy does not exclude the the company from potential liability. If the personal insurance policy is deemed inadequate by the injured party, he/she will pursue deeper pockets.

W/regard to Workman's Comp, it's an open/shut case as the employee was performing company-ordered work.
Years ago a teenage girl was in an auto accident. She crossed over the center line and hit another caar head on. One person died. She was going to the office suppy store to purchase some paper for her dad's store. Her dad's store was sued, she was on a trip in the family car doing company business therefore company liability.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:12 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
If you do not inform your insurance company you are regularly using your personal vehicle for company business, woe be you if you have to make a claim. They may pay that claim, and then drop you the next day. Adding insult to injury, good luck trying to find new insurance.
In the grand scheme of things unless you volunteer it, nobody will know you were on the clock. Other than you and your employer, its nobody elses business really.

My truck, having vinyl decals with the name of the biz and all would be difficult to hide in the grand scheme of things, but at my last job, unless I told people I was driving to location X for work, my corolla would have given no clues as to my mission and if anyone asked why I had suitcases, 40 cheese straighteners, and a dozen tea cozys, I am dropping them off at my moms, she collects cheese straighteners and tea cozys.
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2010, 08:23 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
If you do not inform your insurance company you are regularly using your personal vehicle for company business, woe be you if you have to make a claim. They may pay that claim, and then drop you the next day. Adding insult to injury, good luck trying to find new insurance.
I wonder how you really define company business, though? Obviously going back and forth to work isn't company business. But is going from one company location to another company location (say, to attend meetings) really "company business"? What if you're reimbursed for that mileage? Does that make it company business? What if you're going from site A to site B, but stop for lunch halfway, and run over someone in the McDonald's parking lot after eating your Big Mac?

What about if you're on the road, have a rental car, and hit another car during your commute? Is that company business since you're on the road, or not company business because despite being on the road it's still a commute?

What if you're salaried and so there's no real clock to speak of?

Now if your actual job is to deliver something, or your vehicle is your office/workspace/whatever, then that's obviously company business.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2010, 08:49 AM
Fuzzy Dunlop Fuzzy Dunlop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
An employee using his/her car for business/job related travel exposes the employer to significant liability should an accident occur. Resulting personal and/or property damage to you or another would result in a Worman's Comp claim, to say nothing of personal injury lawsuits.
How so? Use of personal vehicles for business travel is routine. There's no epidemic of lawsuits against companies because an individual in his own car caused an accident. That's what car insurance is for. There'd be no legal distinction whether or not the employer were paying for mileage.
There's no epidemic of law suits against companies because it's easy and cheap to buy hired and non-owned auto policies. They can be part of the company's commercial auto policy for vehicles they do own or separate. My company owns no vehicles and we still have hired and non-owned auto coverage. I don`t know what SanDiegoTim is talking about, no company with adequate coverage would be exposed.
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2010, 09:56 AM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
In the grand scheme of things unless you volunteer it, nobody will know you were on the clock. Other than you and your employer, its nobody elses business really.
It's also your insurer's business. People who use vehicles regularly for business purposes are exposed to different risks, and experience losses at a different rate, than people who don't. If you know you're going to be using your vehicle regularly for business and don't disclose this when buying a personal auto policy, you're committing insurance fraud. You might get away with it, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix
My truck, having vinyl decals with the name of the biz and all would be difficult to hide in the grand scheme of things, but at my last job, unless I told people I was driving to location X for work, my corolla would have given no clues as to my mission and if anyone asked why I had suitcases, 40 cheese straighteners, and a dozen tea cozys, I am dropping them off at my moms, she collects cheese straighteners and tea cozys.
If you're in a serious auto accident, an experienced insurance claims adjuster is unlikely to be satisfied with a flippant response. Nor is a lawyer for a person you happen to have injured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
I wonder how you really define company business, though?
The IRS has lots of experience in answering this question in the context of what constitutes a valid business expense; see Publication 463. I don't know that the IRS definition would necessarily be controlling in establishing liability for an auto accident, but I imagine the criteria for auto liability are pretty close.

In general, commuting between one home and one workplace = personal; driving to meals (unless staying at a hotel) = personal; anything else = business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop
I don`t know what SanDiegoTim is talking about, no company with adequate coverage would be exposed.
Companies buy the coverage precisely because they're exposed.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2010, 10:04 AM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
In the grand scheme of things unless you volunteer it, nobody will know you were on the clock. Other than you and your employer, its nobody elses business really.

My truck, having vinyl decals with the name of the biz and all would be difficult to hide in the grand scheme of things, but at my last job, unless I told people I was driving to location X for work, my corolla would have given no clues as to my mission and if anyone asked why I had suitcases, 40 cheese straighteners, and a dozen tea cozys, I am dropping them off at my moms, she collects cheese straighteners and tea cozys.

Perhaps, but if you were injured and needed to initiate a Workman's Comp case, then you have real problems if you stated that it was not a work related accident.

Why would someone like the OP lie to protect the employer when it is clear that the employer does little to protect or even compensate the OP?
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:48 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
In the grand scheme of things unless you volunteer it, nobody will know you were on the clock. Other than you and your employer, its nobody elses business really.

My truck, having vinyl decals with the name of the biz and all would be difficult to hide in the grand scheme of things, but at my last job, unless I told people I was driving to location X for work, my corolla would have given no clues as to my mission and if anyone asked why I had suitcases, 40 cheese straighteners, and a dozen tea cozys, I am dropping them off at my moms, she collects cheese straighteners and tea cozys.

Perhaps, but if you were injured and needed to initiate a Workman's Comp case, then you have real problems if you stated that it was not a work related accident.

Why would someone like the OP lie to protect the employer when it is clear that the employer does little to protect or even compensate the OP?
Exactly - the only thing stupider than a boss who acts like the company's money is his to be beyond miserly about, is an employee who feels the same way. This is the same company that would not hesitate to toss you over the side of the lifeboat the moment times get tough.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2010, 06:07 PM
ivn1188 ivn1188 is offline
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Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
If you do not inform your insurance company you are regularly using your personal vehicle for company business, woe be you if you have to make a claim. They may pay that claim, and then drop you the next day. Adding insult to injury, good luck trying to find new insurance.
I wonder how you really define company business, though? Obviously going back and forth to work isn't company business. But is going from one company location to another company location (say, to attend meetings) really "company business"? What if you're reimbursed for that mileage? Does that make it company business? What if you're going from site A to site B, but stop for lunch halfway, and run over someone in the McDonald's parking lot after eating your Big Mac?

What about if you're on the road, have a rental car, and hit another car during your commute? Is that company business since you're on the road, or not company business because despite being on the road it's still a commute?

What if you're salaried and so there's no real clock to speak of?

Now if your actual job is to deliver something, or your vehicle is your office/workspace/whatever, then that's obviously company business.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of caselaw defining the exact boundaries of when a person is on company business and when they are not. As this would comprise several thousand pages, the best summary is pretty much to say that if you're doing things that would normally be expected as part of your job, you're acting on the employer's behalf. Stopping for lunch? Still on. Going 300 miles out of your way without permission to buy drugs? Not on.
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2010, 06:10 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
If you do not inform your insurance company you are regularly using your personal vehicle for company business, woe be you if you have to make a claim. They may pay that claim, and then drop you the next day. Adding insult to injury, good luck trying to find new insurance.
I wonder how you really define company business, though? Obviously going back and forth to work isn't company business. But is going from one company location to another company location (say, to attend meetings) really "company business"? What if you're reimbursed for that mileage? Does that make it company business? What if you're going from site A to site B, but stop for lunch halfway, and run over someone in the McDonald's parking lot after eating your Big Mac?
It may not surprise you that there are dozens of cases fleshing out this type of question in great detail. (including commuting, detours for lunch, dry cleaning, picking up kids, etc.)
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2010, 11:07 AM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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The only thing to remember is that (in Canada, and I assume the USA) commuting to work is something everyone does. Travelling from your "normal place of work" to a jobsite or customer is part of the job. Commuting therefore is not a business expense for you or your employer, unless it is so extreme as to need reimbursement.

If I work for ABC, and am on contract to XYZ, so I go from home to XYZ every day, that's commuting. If I go to ABC in the morning, then go on to XYZ one or more times that day, that's work travel. If I fly to XYZ every Monday, stay in a hotel, and fly home Friday - that's business travel. As others mentioned, the exact details have been settled in umpteen different cases over the years.

When I worked in a small town, we used to joke about how valuable we were to our wives dead, if the plane crashed while we travelled to the head office. It counted as business travel for a worker's compensation pension; the life insurance had an accidental death clause which IIRC paid double. Plus, there was an additional amount of automatic life insurance from the credit card from using it to pay for the flight.

We had one fellow who was cycling to work once; he was heading downhill full speed with his head down, and did not realize (pretty dumb) until he hit it that the work crew had dug up the road at the rail crossing and the rail was a four-inch high obstacle in his way. The company tried to deny his workers comp claim, but the crossing was inside the company property line and the union pointed out that the company has supported the WC claim of a non-union employee injured in a car crash on that same road, also heading to work.

The point being, as soon as you cross onto company property on the way to work, you are covered. Some people suggest that even before that, on the way to work, you are covered. I heard of one fellow working for a small company who had a battery blow up in his face when he tried to jump-start his car. Since his job included picking up the rest of the crew to take them with him to work, he was considered "on the job" trying to start his vehicle because he was reimbursed for gas costs for this task. Workers' Comp paid his lost salary and costs.

In fact, I once drove the several hours to the next big city for a meeting, so I would have my car there for the weekend. The head accountant refused to pay just gas, insisted that I put in a mileage claim (IIRC about 40 cents a mile then, to a maximum of equivalent airfare). His logic was simple - you or your boss cannot pick and choose reimbursement, or else we'll end up with a scenario where "Fred can go to the meeting if he drives and we pay gas, but Joe we will fly there." The rule was everyone is treated equal. Actually a nice guy for an accountant, and a good company policy.
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